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  • The Verge

  • Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years That Shook the World
  • By: Patrick Wyman
  • Narrated by: Patrick Wyman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The creator of the hit podcast series Tides of History and Fall of Rome explores the four explosive decades between 1490 and 1530, bringing to life the dramatic and deeply human story of how the West was reborn.

In the best-selling tradition of The Swerve and A Distant Mirror, The Verge tells the story of a period that marked a decisive turning point for both European and world history. Here, author Patrick Wyman examines two complementary and contradictory sides of the same historical coin: the world-altering implications of the developments of printed mass media, extreme taxation, exploitative globalization, humanistic learning, gunpowder warfare, and mass religious conflict in the long term, and their intensely disruptive consequences in the short-term.

As told through the lives of 10 real people - from famous figures like Christopher Columbus and wealthy banker Jakob Fugger to a ruthless small-time merchant and a one-armed mercenary captain - The Verge illustrates how their lives, and the times in which they lived, set the stage for an unprecedented globalized future.

Over an intense 40-year period, the seeds for the so-called "Great Divergence" between Western Europe and the rest of the globe would be planted. From Columbus' voyage across the Atlantic to Martin Luther's sparking the Protestant Reformation, the foundations of our own, recognizably modern world came into being.

For the past 500 years, historians, economists, and the policy-oriented have argued which of these individual developments best explains the West's rise from backwater periphery to global dominance. As The Verge presents it, however, the answer is far more nuanced.

©2021 Patrick Wyman (P)2021 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Verge

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Great listen!

Love Patrick's podcast and the book does not let down. Definitely recommend for all those history buffs out there!

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  • Alex
  • 20-07-2021

Great story about great transformation

Great details that makes you feel history and catch many minor even tiny aspects in one great landscape

Impressive work, highly recommended or all history lovers and curios people

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-07-2021

LOVED IT!

I binged the book and as everything Patrick Wyman does it’s perfection! A great edition to my history library by my favorite historian.

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  • Michael S. Labrow
  • 21-07-2021

Like the Podcast but Better.

I am a devoted Tides of History listener. Although the topics covered in this book all draw from the roots laid down in the early modern series of Patrick’s podcast, he goes into different facets of those stories and does a excellent job of sewing the narratives he explored in such great depth into a larger narrative of change and transformation.

Although listening to Tides is hardly required to enjoy this book (or vice Verska), I feel like I have gotten more out of this book because of my years listening to the podcast and the greater space he had to cover topics like Charles The Bold, Dynastic Monarchy, and the Italian Wars. This book actually goes deeper into the mercantile world than the podcast as well, giving over entire chapters to biographies covered in the podcast and going into greater detail into their lives, as well as tying those fascinating glimpses into early capitalism into the larger story.

The book could have been three times as long and I would have enjoyed every minute of it. It was an awesome listen, and am very happily thinking over what I’ve just listened to.

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  • Alan J
  • 27-07-2021

Entertaining and enlightening

A deep dive into European society, at a pivotal transition. Wyman's basic argument is that a number of nearly simultaneous innovations and changes worked together in this period to set the stage for Europe's emergence as the world's dominant region, without romanticizing that dominance. That emergence was far from intentional or inevitable.

If you listened to the author's incredible Tides of History podcast, all the stories told here will be familiar, but here, he weaves a subset of that material together with greater depth and coherence.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-07-2021

Fantastic

Great research made accessible to laypeople. Combined narration to bring subjects to life without overindulging.

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  • Mark Beebe
  • 21-07-2021

A Refreshing Take on a Pivotal Period of History

As a long time listener to the author's Tides of History podcast, I've been excited about this book for some time. I'm pleased to report that it does not disappoint! Listening to The Verge is both fascinating and enjoyable.

Patrick has a way of making the past come alive by interspersing historical facts and details into a captivating narrative format. While this book goes deeper than most of the podcast episodes, it is every bit as entertaining. The audiobook version is also a great way to consume this content, as Patrick has a very clear and engaging voice.

It's rare to find a work like this that is as creative and fun to listen to as it is well-researched and nuanced. I can't wait to read and listen to whatever Patrick produces next. If you're on the fence about this book, don't think twice - you won't regret it.

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  • Jaki
  • 23-07-2021

Accessible, quality history...

A well written, incredibly knowledgeable yet accessibly written account of a period of European history that had implications that ripple out to today's world. Read engagingly by the author. Highly recommended!

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